With Valentine’s Day looming, a string of break-ups happened at the University of Dayton student center on Wednesday. But it was for a good cause — and part of the second annual “I Love UD” campaign.
The university asked its students and alumni to “break up” with another college by trading their apparel for an “I Love UD” T-shirt. It was the second time the university held the event as part of its new, and popular, month-long campaign.
The goal of the campaign is simple: provide people a chance to show their love and reconnect with the university, said Dave Harper, vice president for advancement.
“This is really a chance to celebrate the community that our institution has that is just so strong and has such a good bond,” he said.
I Love UD asks the community to share a photo, commit a random act or kindness, volunteer, give to the university or connect on social media under #ILoveUD to show their affection. The university’s goal is to collect 2,800 gifts in the 28 days of February — but Harper said the focus of the campaign is on engaging with the university and not strictly on donating, which is important for staying connected with young alumni who are not yet financially ready to give.
Still, during its first year, the campaign far exceeded its goal: with 3,016 gifts that raised $1.7 million. And, participants reported more than 1,000 acts of kindness, according to UD.
“We were overwhelmed by the support we got,” Harper said. “We’re seeing that same momentum this year. We’re hoping to beat our total from last year.”
This week, the university will also send e-Valentines to those who request one online. And UD will give away prizes at all Flyer basketball home games and concession proceeds benefit the I Love UD scholarship fund.
The break up T-shirts will be donated to St. Vincent de Paul next week.
“It is a great opportunity for the campus and all the students to come together for this community service project,” said junior Libby Durnwald, president of the Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow group that coordinated the project.
Junior Kaitlin Regan, from Centerville, said the project is a good way to promote UD’s Marianist values. She traded in an Ohio State University T-shirt.
“I think it’s good we’re promoting our love for UD and taking other schools’ shirts off our campus at the same time,” she said.